Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996

class="Paragraph" Vinten Fibertec Legs

class="Paragraph" Published : 16th January 2004

class="Paragraph"
I'm wondering if any of you have had any experience with the Vinten Fibertec 2 stage legs. I have a Cartoni Delta and am in the market for a set of two stage sticks. I have looked into Sachtler.....a little pricey and a little too rich for me, no disputing their build though, Miller...always have disliked them due to their lack of rigidity and the frequency in which they fall apart, Lurked around looking at Vinten.....Have been taken by the Fibertec legs and their higher torsional strength but am wondering whether this is a little bit of marketing hype.....on the verge of yeh or nay on the price too! Also any experiences with the standard poziloc legs...good or bad.

What about the Spread-loc spreader? Comments much appreciated.

Nick Paton
Film & Digital Cinematography
www.npdop.com


class="Paragraph"
Nick Paton

>I'm wondering if any of you have had any experience with the Vinten >Fibertec 2 stage legs...

Hi Nick,

I've got a Fibertec/Vision100 system and have been using it since last December. Vinten invited me to do trial testing in Alaska before the Fibertec was put on the market. I'm very happy with the sticks. I wrote a sort of review for Broadcast Engineering which I have laying around here somewhere.

class="Paragraph"
I'll try to locate it and email it to you.

All in all though they've handled very well in a variety of Alaskan conditions. They are relatively light, strong, quiet and quick to setup. And the mid-level spreader-loc of course increases the torsional rigidity. The channel lock slides of the legs also work toward further rigidity. Nice
engineering.

The only negative issue I recall is that were some word about some composite lock latches snapping. But this was pre-release rumours and I know they held back the release date until such issues were resolved. I haven't any problems with the setup.

http://www.vinten.com/en/

( I don't work for Vinten, etc.)

best,

Morgan Evans
Anchorage


class="Paragraph"
Morgan Evans writes :

>I haven't any problems with the setup.

I was wondering if you get any much in the C channel and whether they are easy to clean. It seems there is a fair waiting list. I have been quoted February next year if I say yes now.

Nick Paton
Film & Digital Cinematography


class="Paragraph"
>I was wondering if you get any much in the C channel and whether they >are easy to clean. It seems there is a fair waiting list. I have been quoted

Sorry, Nick. I couldn't make out your question re the C channel. "I was wondering if you get any much in the C channel "

best,

Morgan Evans
Anchorage, Alaska


class="Paragraph"
Much should read "muck" as in dirt and grime etc. I was concerned about the C channel being harder to keep clean.

Nick Paton
Film & Digital Cinematography


class="Paragraph"
> Much should read "muck" as in dirt and grime etc. I was concerned >about the C channel being harder to keep clean.

Not difficult at all to keep clean, Nick. The inside of the channels are easily accessible and a wipe down with a moist cloth is all it takes. If you haven't had them hands on then it looks just like the precise engineering sketch below.

/ \
/___________\

Morgan Evans
Alaska Productions
Anchorage


class="Paragraph"
>Not difficult at all to keep clean, Nick. The inside of the channels are >easily accessible and a wipe down with a moist cloth is all it takes.

I'm hoping to get my hands on one but the numbers are few, hence the back orders to Feb. Much appreciated.

Nick Paton
Film & Digital Cinematography


class="Paragraph"
Nick Paton wrote :

>I'm wondering if any of you have had any experience with the Vinten >Fibertec 2 stage legs...

Have you had a look at O'Connor. The last time I checked them out they had some really innovative designs.

Adrian Cranage
Director of Photography
www.cranage-dop.com


class="Paragraph"
We had a set of Fibretec legs with a Vision 100 head for a few weeks on approval earlier this year. Everyone who had a go was very impressed. And this is in a crew room which has been putting up with dilapidated sets of old Vinten sticks that were about five years overdue for replacement. They were very wary of Vinten.

They are as rigid in use as Vinten claim they are. The setup is a dream and the leg locks are very nicely designed. The spreader is nice too.

Nick, we have put several Sachtler and Miller tripods into service over the last year and the comparison has been interesting. We have had both poziloc and torque-safe Vinten legs. They both work fine but we did have to service the torque safe ones more than we thought reasonable. Perhaps that was due to their age.

Sadly, the Fibretec came out a few months too late, otherwise our recent tripod purchases might have been different

Mick Fanning
ABC TV Brisbane


class="Paragraph"
Mick Fanning writes :

>They are as rigid in use as Vinten claim they are. The setup is a dream >and the leg locks are very nicely designed. The spreader is nice too.

Mick,

They are going back however…I had one issue, one of the locks that are made to dislocate when opened too far kept on dislocating. I am hoping that this is just an adjustment thing as I too found them to be well thought out and very rigid. I also wonder about the square profile digging into my shoulder when carrying the sticks long distances, the strap doesn't seem to work well as the head balances the sticks to one end and you end up carrying the sticks uncomfortably vertically.

Nick Paton


 

style="margin-top:0; margin-bottom: 0;">Like Morgan, I was one of the cinematographers invited to trial the Vinten Fibertec with an HD100 Head and did so on a challenging shoot in Varanasi, in India ( see "Ganges " articles in both the Guild of Television Cameramen magazine and the SOC Magazine ) .

 

style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;">Both the head and the legs used on that shoot were extremely well designed and did the job very well, except for one small problem. The leg locking mechanism on the trial set I was supplied with had a few minor problems and we made Vinten aware of the problem after the shoot. A second set of legs I tried subsequently had more significant problems in the same area, and as far as I know Vinten realised they had a quality control or design problem with the locking levers and the set I was using were recalled for immediate redesign and re-engineering.

 

style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;">This was in April 2003 and I suspect Vinten have worked very hard to overcome what appeared to be a minor problem and when the product is/was re-released, it should definitely live up to the potential it demonstrated in India.

 

style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;">When I was working with it (with a heavy Arri SR111 and 300mm Canon F2.8) both the tripod and the head were beautiful and indeed the India camera assistant wanted to become the importing agent into India, he was so impressed.

 

style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;">It was very stable - and as rigid as the advertising claims - and the whole package with the custom designed case is truly professional. The counterbalance was superb and the levelling self illumination a huge bonus in the dark environment I was operating. There was never any problem with cleaning that a quick rub/brush down at the end of the day couldn't cure.

 

style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;">To answer Nick Paton's comment about carrying - the two sets I have used came with an excellent strap, well located, which was designed to carry the legs comfortably, head down, hanging from the shoulder. I personally found this to be a pretty good arrangement and indeed carried the Arri and the Vinten on my left side, leaving my right hand free to weave my way through the challenges of Indian street traffic.

 

style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;">My personal conclusion is that once Vinten solve the problem of the leg locking mechanism (and this is exactly WHY you DO fields trials at opposite side of the earth, such as Morgan and I were involved in, ) then this a very ingenious, professional piece of equipment at a very reasonable price.

 

Kindest Regards

 

LAURIE K GILBERT s.o.c.

Motion Picture Director of Photography

HD Cinematographer

Based in Asia - Filming the world

www.limage.tv